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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Toxic Soup

Sunset at My Waterfront Office


Matt went on a business trip the other day, and when he returned we spent some time talking about how different our lives are from most people’s.  One of the several things we talked about was the many different toxic chemicals most people use daily – that many people are surrounded an incredible toxic soup.

What a strange thing it is now to use Colgate toothpaste with its synthetic suds and flavor, or artificially foaming and scented shaving cream, shampoo with a list of twenty ingredients, fabric softeners that leave a permanent scent on your clothing, colognes that linger in the elevator, cleaners that give off an incredibly strong scent and leave a strange film, let alone eating crackers with several things in them we can’t pronounce …  The list goes on and on of things that we forget are normal to most people in the developed world.

Will we live longer because we don’t have these things around us?  I don’t know – maybe, maybe not.  But is my asthma better?  Can we smell roses more clearly?  Are we leaving less of a footprint, are we contributing less to the global toxic soup?  Are we healthier?  Is our skin softer?  Is our pocketbook fuller because we don’t buy all those things?  Yes to all of these.


Sometimes I forget how far we’ve come.



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6 comments to Toxic Soup

  • A wonderful, pertinent post about how far people go when they leave what is perceived to be normal. Taking risks, as some people see it. Living simply and with heart is how I see it. A lovely post :)

  • Desi

    It’s amazing to me how many people just don’t pay attention to what’s in the products they’re using and the food they’re consuming. I try to educate people when they express an interest in knowing, but some people are just happy to be like an ostrich and stick their head in the sand.

    I’ve switched over to a natural shampoo bar to wash my hair (tried no ‘poo – didn’t work for me) vs. the liqud in a bottle and I love it. I get some strange looks when I tell people I was my hair with a bar of soap. Oh well! It’s one less bottle for the landfill and/or recycling center. It’s also less chemicals coming in contact with my body and washed down the sewers. I think they should thank me for that vs. look at me like I’m a strange hippie :)

  • I’ve been called a hippie twice in the last couple months. :) But I’ve also had coworkers comment on how strange it would be to come into the staff room and see me eating fast food. I guess I’ve got them thinking….

  • So what kind of toothpaste do you use? Just wondering…

  • [...] article at the Co-op, called “Turning Down The Background Noise”, which picks up where Toxic Soup left off.  Some really interesting comments there as well.  Please [...]

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